Ah, November – a special double on deer

No question, November is my favorite month of the year. It’s a time of several weeks or so of vacation, with times taken out for covering the opening weekend of pheasant season and whatever other outdoors event that’s both fun and worthy of an outdoors page feature.

From time to time this November I’ll be blogging on how the month is going.

So far, so great.


Life was already pretty danged good as Stacy Hoeme and I toured some backroads late Saturday afternoon.

I’d come out on Wednesday and we’d enjoyed a few days of trying to get me within archery range of a nice mule deer.

Chaston Hoeme, left,, and his brother, Joshua, right, both bow-killed nice bucks Saturday evening. Chaston’s is a 5X5 mule deer and Joshua’s a nine-point whitetail with several sticker points. Stacy Hoeme, their father, center,is in the middle and probably happier than both young men combined.

Saturday morning Stacy and six others had done far better on pheasants than they’d expected. I was pretty pleased with how my camera work had gone as I covered their opening day hunt, too.

YOU CAN CLICK HERE to read about the hunt and see the gallery of photography.

So while Stacy’s sons, Joshua and Chaston, headed to deer blinds Saturday afternoon, my longtime friend and I just kind of cruised around, talked and looked at some pretty country.

Then at about 6 p.m. Joshua called and said he’d just shot a nice whitetail, a basic nine-pointer with some cool stickers. Stacy was understandably ecstatic because he and his sons have a long tradition of bowhunting together, though not as often since Joshua’s career now has him living in Salina. Chaston his a senior at K-State so he’s not around many weekends for hunting, either.

We immediately headed the truck northward, to go see what Joshua had shot, and to help him get the buck loaded in his truck.

We hadn’t traveled five miles when we got a text from Chaston saying he’d just shot a very nice mule deer buck. The shot had been good, he was sure, but he had yet to go looking for the buck.

I’ll never forget the look on Stacy’s face when he heard the news. Nor will I ever forget the speaker phone conversation between father and son, as Stacy, who was more pumped than I’ve ever seen him, tried to calm Chaston away from rushing out and looking for the deer by himself.

Long story short, both of the boys had made great shots. Joshua’s whitetail fell within sight of his blind, and where we could drive right to it. Chaston had made a perfect shot and we easily tracked the buck to where it was down in a deep ditch. Being old, Stacy and I coached the boys as they grunted, tugged and dragged the huge bodied, 5X5 buck a steep bank.

We later learned Joshua and Chaston had shot their bucks at almost exactly the same minute, though about 15 miles apart. Both bucks are trophy-class and well-earned by the young men who’ve been avid archers since they were old enough to get their first permits in Kansas.

Stacy , by the way, had already affixed his archery permit to a 163-inch ten point whitetail earlier in the season.

They weren’t even my sons, but I was positively giddy and felt blessed to be around for the success and so much happiness. I’ve known “the boys” since they were very little, and have enjoyed watching them mature into the kind of young men that give me quite a bit of faith in the future of America.

More importantly, I sincerely enjoyed watching the amount of joy Stacy carried and his lived the incredible evening with his favorite hunting partners.

Congratulations Joshua and Chaston,…and congratulations, Stacy, too. That evening has been the highlight of my hunting season.